So, your daughter calls home and tells you that she’s met the man of her dreams, and they’re getting married. You’ll probably react with joy, pride, and excitement, and maybe already start daydreaming about grandchildren. But would it change your reaction if you found out that the man of her dreams is none other than Charles Manson?
Rolling Stone’s December issue has an in depth feature on the notorious Manson, and reveals that he’s engaged to a woman referred to as Star, which is her Manson-given nickname. You might remember that Manson also gave nicknames to members of the Manson family. RS describes the couple:
Star is 25 years old, comes from a town on the Mississippi River, was raised a Baptist, keeps a tidy home, is a prim dresser, has a fun sense of humor. Charlie is probably the most infamous convicted killer of all time. He’s been called the devil for the way he influenced friends to murder on his behalf. He’s spent the past 44 years in prison and nearly 60 years incarcerated altogether, meaning he has spent less than two decades of his life as a free man.
Star moved to Corcoran, CA where Manson is incarcerated when she was 19, after becoming enamored of his environmental stance (which is pretty incoherent, to hear him tell it). She visits him every Saturday and Sunday, and seems to be aware of the unlikely odds of their relationship. She says “Yeah, well, people can think I’m crazy. But they don’t know. This is what’s right for me. This is what I was born for.” Moreover, she claims that her parents are totally on board with her choice in men, and that they have even offered up their basement as a place for Star and her intended to live, should he ever be released from prison. RS can’t point out the parallels between Star and Manson Family member Susan Atkins, especially given Star’s coloring and X carved into her forehead.
Manson has become a pop culture legend, which makes it easy to forget the horror of his crimes. It’s a fascinating, engaging story, chock full of sex, beautiful women, a famous actress, sweeping rhetoric about new world orders, and enough time and distance to dull the horrible reality of what it was like when The Family was on their killing spree. The subsequent trial was sensational and shocking, and its worth noting that over 40 years later, I can tell you the whole story without looking it up. And the profile makes him seem less threatening and almost endearing, especially given that he mostly babbles incoherently. It’s almost like he didn’t command a cult and order the execution of innocent people (including the pregnant Sharon Tate).
And so, if your daughter calls home and says she’s engaged to a convicted cult leader and killer? Go get her. Don’t offer up your basement, don’t say you’ll read up on his environmental writings, and don’t say you’ll give him a chance. Go to Corcoran and bring her home.
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